1500 Classic Engine Vibration - Page 4 - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #31 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 11:06 PM
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Hey Bandit, did you find the answer to this problem? It sure sounds like the same one Im having.

1998 Custom Classic.
K&N Pod.
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post #32 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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There were two things that dramatically helped. One was rejetting the carb. I was not getting a balanced fuel flow.
The other was that the aftermarket pipes (V&H pro pipe), was installed with the bracket bolted directly to the frame. I installed another (fabricated) bracket with a rubber isolation dampening washer.
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post #33 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 11:36 PM
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Thanks for that. I have tried isolating the pipes with new rubber washer, no change.
I have the same rear plug carbon issue as you. The vibration on mine happened gradually over about 1000km's. Sometimes it's worse and at certain revs (cruising) on a good day I cant feel it until I throttle on.
I dont want to do what you did and pull the engine for nothing. The bike runs well, has a flat spot as I throttle from idle and sometimes backfires(more of a gasp). My concern is that under load, say 100kmph and throttling on, the whole bike vibes badly and there's a loss of power. Particularly noticeable in head winds. I've checked everything you have as well. Frustrating coz it ruins my rides.

1998 Custom Classic.
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post #34 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 09:28 AM
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On a two cylinder engine, it is critical that each cylinder pulls its share of the load or power loss and vibration will result, even if it is intermittent.
Remove the plugs and post back with "exactly" what you see. A picture would be even better.
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post #35 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 03:25 PM
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I'll give you my opinion and that is only as good as the air I breathe. It sounds like you have a bad hydraulic lifter. If it is and it did like my old bike, the rear cylinder would not clear the gases if it is the exhaust side that is bad, and it will build a huge carbon deposit on top of the piston and throw it off balance.This causes it to run ok, but just not quit right and it vibrates. If you pull the top covers off the heads and push down on the cam end of the rocker arms, you should not be able to compress it with your finger. If it does, you will have lots of fun to replace the lifter on that rocker arm. My engine has done this twice from having the s&$t rung out of it. The lifters are not to hot in my books? What happens is the vale opens late and closes early and not clearing the charged gases. The other exhaust valve is probably doing fine in the same cylinder. It sure throws thing out of balance as far as I have experienced.
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post #36 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 05:48 PM
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Hey Ken, thanks for that very interesting info. It sure makes sense to me that it could indeed be the issue.
I have not seen anyone else come up with that diagnosis even though they suffer the same symptoms.

You say it has happened twice, did you have to remove the engine to change the lifters? How many miles had the engine done? Do you think it causes damage to leave it? Do you know of any aftermarket(and better quality) lifters?

Sorry for interrogation but Im just excited to find someone that has had the issue and solved it!

1998 Custom Classic.
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post #37 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Means View Post
I'll give you my opinion and that is only as good as the air I breathe. It sounds like you have a bad hydraulic lifter. If it is and it did like my old bike, the rear cylinder would not clear the gases if it is the exhaust side that is bad, and it will build a huge carbon deposit on top of the piston and throw it off balance.This causes it to run ok, but just not quit right and it vibrates. If you pull the top covers off the heads and push down on the cam end of the rocker arms, you should not be able to compress it with your finger. If it does, you will have lots of fun to replace the lifter on that rocker arm. My engine has done this twice from having the s&$t rung out of it. The lifters are not to hot in my books? What happens is the vale opens late and closes early and not clearing the charged gases. The other exhaust valve is probably doing fine in the same cylinder. It sure throws thing out of balance as far as I have experienced.
And you experienced no knocking or tapping?

I do not think that the carbon was the problem but the fact that the cylinder was not pulling its share of the load that caused the vibration.
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post #38 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 10:10 PM
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No knocking but tapping on one lifter.

1998 Custom Classic.
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post #39 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 12:19 AM
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Yes with some near surgical techniques and enough knowledge of the valve terrains it can be done. But you have to pull the left stator cover or the right clutch cover to expose the crankshaft end and also pull the engine motor mount bolts to lower the motor in the frame enough to remove the valve cover bolts on the rear cylinder. Usually it is the rear that fails because of the extra heat the rear cylinder gets. I have the more radical cams of the first 3 year model engines that was produced and a heavy throttle hand. This spells failure as a rule of thumb. First, if I where you try a piston soak treatment to remove the carbon from the top of the piston before you tear down the engine! Also run some Sea Foam in the gas for several miles to decarbon the valves. Our gas here has alcohol at 10% to help f&%k up our engines mandated by Uncle Sam. You may not have that luxury in your country. But I can tell you it sucks here using that kind of fuel. These hypo motors do not like that stuff what so ever. Google piston soak techniques to do the piston. I have seen some and my engines get such a carbon buildup that it raise the compression ratio and start pinging from predetonation. This is also helped from crap fuel that wont burn. We use Sea Foam at 2-3 times the recommended rate on the can. The stuff works wonders on large displacement motorcycle engines and we buy it by the gallons. You need to put the bike in a holder to hold it in a strait up position and be able to put floor jack under the engine to raise it up and down in the frame. Be careful as you do this as there are water hoses and cables connected to the motor that can be broken. Also watch wiring harness that you do not want to pinch up or stretch out of shape. Also on my bike I remove the fuel pump to have better access to the top of the rear cylinder and remove the aftermarket air breathers under the tank. You will need to rotate the engine to get the cams in the lowest possession on the lobes to remove the pivot bolt/tube for the rocker arm assembly. When you pull this always use new O rings on the bolt/tube. Get a book and study the assembly. If you drop some thing in the upper rocker arm valley it can be fished out with a magnet and hemostats. There are springs and things that go on the shafts with the rocker arms. As you remove each item lay them out in order as you will need to replace later in the same order. The hydraulic lifter is on the end of the rocker arm on the valve stem end. Remove the lifter and replace and reassemble as you have laid out your parts. Watch for the springs on top of the oil filters when you first lift the vale covers. You can shoot these across the shop and look for them for hours. LOL Get a friend to assist you to hold them down when you reassemble the covers. Do not reuse any gaskets or you might find yourself with a leak. The older the engine is the more blow by it gets and these will leak.

Last edited by Ken Means; 02-04-2013 at 12:26 AM.
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post #40 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 06:11 AM
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When I looked thru the manual I thought it should be possible but all info on the net was saying it has to come out but I think it should be ok.
Its like the vibration, all the people I have taken it to say it's normal- Im not an idiot-IT"S NOT NORMAL!
Anyway, we dont have Seafoam over here and I have tried a recommended alternative which did nothing.
When I got the bike it had only done 29,000 km's and the vibe started about a 1500 km's later.
Thanks for the detailed info, I will have to get into it soon.

1998 Custom Classic.
K&N Pod.
Fatboy handlebars.
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